Editor’s note: Each Thursday, we feature a throwback piece from Topology’s predecessor, catapult magazine. In this essay from 2009, Stefanie Möser Zitö considers how to counteract the disorientation of early adulthood with whimsy and play.
This life can be (wonderfully) disorienting. I am finding the twenty-somethings stretch to be especially so.
Indeed this decade is on the move, so look out: change is rapid and rolling—watch your step! Decisions are made, plans composed, paths unfolded. Settling down really shakes things up. Marriage and jobs and bills and taxes and 401Ks (um…maybe) and health insurance (hmm…hopefully) and maybe baby(ies) and—
You stand there frozen for a moment, wondering what just took place, and in your shocked state proceed to comb your hair with your fingers as a whirlwind drop-kicked version of yourself. You try to gain composure, or at least to appear composed.
Perhaps for the sake of sanity, it’s sometimes healthy to view our twenties as a game. It’s a mere recovery process from that time we crossed the graduation threshold, and received not only our degrees, but also a bat, a bandana over our eyes, and a robust spin. We later find that we’re 25 years old and still dizzy, but, with any luck, still swinging. We may not have successfully yet littered beneath the tree, but hopefully we’ve enjoyed some tasty teasers.
At least for me, the twenty-somethings have been packed with ups and downs and all-arounds. My emotions exist as curve balls, difficult to catch. But to feel is unmatched beauty. I have to believe that if put to music, this would be a most sensational, not to mention interesting, melody (so you better get to dancing). I crave safe critique of my tune as I continue to clumsily compose.
Lately I’ve wanted to just spill out all the contents of my brain, and rearrange them in an orderly fashion (maybe even replacing one or two items while I’m at it). I’m confused, but figuring it out, tired of (self-subjected) delays, yet thankful for the now, and excited for the soon.
To life’s shifting seasons: Turn! Turn! Turn! No wonder I feel dizzy. Everyone’s lives and everything else seems to spin yet faster than I do. I’ve watched so many of my friends make some huge adult changes, and in response have struggled in feeling like a bad adult since, at least comparatively, I haven’t. At times I feel as though I’m just finger painting in the corner perimeter of the decisions of others. So I choose to use bright colors.
The change of seasons—particularly summer to fall—has always resulted in my experiencing dizzy spells for whatever reason. I am somewhat comforted by this, and choose to attribute my recent inelegance as a response to such life changes. Changing with the changes is tough. In silent protest to summer’s end, I’ve been sleeping on the porch for about a month. The colder it gets, the more layered and mismatched I become. When it comes to facing other such changes, I’m realizing that I just need to equip myself and wrap up in the right blankets to adequately enjoy what’s to come.
“The Roaring Twenties” of the Twentieth Century was a time defined by innovative social, artistic and cultural changes. Hmm…sounds familiar. Perhaps that’s one thing that has stayed the same. This time in life presents endless possibilities. Now is a time to explore, get creative, and master improvisation. There is so much wonder in the world. I wanna kick up the leaves and smell the dew.
A couple of pearls of wisdom I’ve strung on a thread of thought is that now is a time to be well-acquainted with curiosity, ever seeking direction and always thankful for options. Embrace the dizziness and spin around in circles. Enjoy the moment, rattle your beads, and dance about like a fabulous flapper. Enjoy an adult swim in the deep end. Tread water when you have to.
I hope our Roaring Twenties become our Golden Twenties.
(You can now have dessert before dinner.)
These will never be “last season,” so be careful to not outgrow them:
Swing sets. Polka dots. Roller skates. Side ponytail. Rainbows. Finding figures in clouds. Sleepovers. Fort building. Rolling down hills. Splashing through puddles. Blowing bubbles. Flying kites. Glitter. Hula-hooping. Oldies jam sessions. The catching and releasing of lightning bugs. Snuggling. Christmas lights. Pumpkin carving. Pumpkin anything. Dressing up for Halloween. Eating without utensils whenever possible. Petting dogs. Picking apples. Pen pals. Coloring outside the lines.
What else would you add to the list?